What Love Is, Part 1

June 3rd, 2016


The heart has its reasons that reason knows nothing of.
– Pascal

Love. What is it really?

“Love,” within infidelity, isn’t love at all.

Love in this context is an interpretation. It is an encounter between a person – the object of desire – and an experience – the passion of eros. It can leave one intoxicated with emotion that drives both decisions and behaviors in often inalterable ways. The result of this fusion is one of the most destructive mistakes a human can make.

The Fundamental Attribution Error is when you confuse an experience with a person who just happens to be a part of the encounter. You believe you MUST have that person in order to have that experience.

Then, drama of mythological proportion ensues. You collapse two worlds onto one another, failing to distinguish them as two distinct events that just happened in close proximity to one another. You confuse a person for an experience and attempt valiantly to translate that experience into something real. It isn’t real.

You confuse an emotional experience, i.e. the affair, with the person who you are having the affair with and believe you “need” that person to keep and preserve that experience. Willing to risk almost anything to legitimize the affair, you call it “love.”

Understanding this distinction can be one of the most important steps to ending an affair and recovering from infidelity.

Love, here, is a personally constructed narrative – a story – which we vehemently adhere to because we need it to be true. After all, so much depends upon it being real.

The possibility of “true love”, the confirmation that “soul mates” exist, the justification for destroying families, leaving spouses, children, jobs and friends – all MUST be justified with legitimacy and purpose. Otherwise, those of us in affairs are nothing but hedonistic idiots.

The stage is set for grandiosity and narcissistic self-indulgence. On this platform, all manner of illogical and nonsensical choices are made. We are in pursuit of a valid human need – deep intimacy and belonging. Yet, we are moving toward our fated demise.

Authentic love, based on friendship, history and seasoned emotionality, can never result from affair love, which is grounded in escape, deception and illicit illusions. Anything based upon deception is destined to fail. Period. Without integrity, life simply doesn’t work.

This is not a moral indictment of infidelity. This is a simple distinction about what is so commonly misunderstood in the delusion and stupor of the affair. The experience can never deliver on the illusions we seduce ourselves into believing.

“Affair love” is rooted in the attempt to legitimize an illusion. In fact, that’s the source of its power since so much is at stake. A real relationship cannot compete with an affair. The novelty, forbidden, and surrealistic nature of an affair relationship beats a real relationship any day with its sobering demands. Within its pursuit lies everything it means to be human.


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